The Lagos State House of Assembly has informed that a Bill that will make operators of lottery, pools and betting in the state to pay N20 million as licence fees to the state government is coming.
The Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa made this known at a public hearing on the Bill entitled; “Lagos State Lotteries And Gaming Authority Bill Arrangement of Sections” in Lagos on Friday, August 14.
Obasa, represented by the Deputy Speaker, Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun, explained that the new Bill; when it becomes law, would consolidate all the laws in the sector.
“The new Bill will also repeal existing laws such as the Lagos State Lotteries (Amendment) Law 2008, the Lagos State Lotteries Law (2004); and the Casino and Gaming Regulatory Authority Law (2007).
“Others are Casino and Gaming Regulations (2007), Pools Betting Control Law (2003) and Pools Betting Tax Law (2003).
“In addition, before a license is granted to an operator, the authority shall be satisfied that the applicant is a registered company in Nigeria with a minimum share capital of N20 million; or as may be directed by the authority.
“The Bill also specified that the local content shareholder shall abide by the regulations, policies, terms, and conditions issued by the authority,” he said.
Obasa said a sound legislature must be the aggregate of the common interest of the majority; and that it must perceive the interest of the people and aggregate it.
The Speaker said to achieve the essence of democracy, the legislature must be in tune with the people.
He said this underscores the essence of public hearing as worldwide gaming was worth $200 billion; saying several Nigerians are now involved in games and sports bettings.
Obasa said the addictive nature calls for caution; hence the need for an amendment of the 2008 lottery law as the bulk of the game was done on mobile gadgets.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, said that a lot had changed in the Nigerian gaming sector in the last 10 years and most of the people involved were youths.
“The future of gaming in Nigeria is bright. The regulations are very robust. So the bill addresses cybersecurity and addresses the concerns of many people. I want to urge all stakeholders to take it seriously,” he said.